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Sydney, Melbourne property market cooling

Lilly Vitorovich
Sales slowdowns in Sydney and Melbourne are weighing on the national property market

Australia's two key housing markets of Sydney and Melbourne continue to cool, with the latest auction sales slump pushing the number of successful auctions around the country to six-year low.

Sydney's auction sales dropped to 55.8 per cent for the week ending Sunday, June 17, compared with 68 per cent over the same week in 2017.

In Melbourne the clearance rate last week was 58.7 per cent, down from 71 per cent a year ago, according to preliminary figures from property data firm CoreLogic.

Private treaty sales - the non-auction sales that represent around 85 per cent of all dwelling sales across the nation - were also down in Sydney and Melbourne.

In Sydney, non-auction house sales fell to 2,197 last week, compared with 2,692 over the same period last year, with the median price also slipping to $885,000 from $1 million.

Private treaty house sales in Melbourne dropped to 2,711 from 3,434, with the median price virtually unchanged.

Recent Australian Bureau of Statistics figures showed home loan approvals dropped 1.4 per cent in April - a drop not as big as economists had forecast but one that reinforced expectations the housing market continues to soften.

Brisbane's auction clearance rate slipped marginally over the week to June 17 from the same period a year earlier, while Adelaide, Perth and Canberra all increased.

Nationally the auction clearance rate fell to 56.9 per cent for the week to June 17, compared with 66.7 per cent over the same week in 2017.

CoreLogic reported private treaty house sales across the nation of 8,557 for the week, down from 9,908 in the comparable period the previous year.

The total number of auctions held around the country dropped by 18.5 per cent to 1,991 last week, down from 2,444 a year earlier.